So how do you deal with cravings and stay on track with your new healthy lifestyle?
First, think about whether your hunger is physical or emotional.
Is your stomach growling? Has a good amount of time passed since your last meal? Do you feel low-energy? These are signs that you’re physically hungry, meaning it’s OK to have a healthy meal or snack.
However, if you’re craving a specific food (like chips or ice cream), or if only a little time has passed since your last meal or snack, you may be experiencing emotional hunger, which can lead to unhealthy food binges.
If you feel a craving coming on, use these tips to combat it.
One good way to curb your cravings is to distract yourself. There is lots of research that suggests that when you focus on the food you’re craving, your craving will get stronger.
Instead, outsmart yourself. Get out of the kitchen and go for a walk, take a nap or watch a movie. Do anything healthy and safe to get your mind off that chocolate bar you desperately want to nibble on.
Don’t keep unhealthy foods lying around
Don’t make it easy for yourself to give into temptation. Don’t keep candy, cookies or other unhealthy snacks in your pantry or fridge. Instead, keep healthy snacks like fruit nearby to put roadblocks in the way of your cravings.
Believe it or not, eating breakfast can go a long way towards keeping your cravings at bay. Start the day with a filling, nutritious meal — with items like steel-cut oatmeal, eggs and fruit — and you’ll be less likely to give into cravings.
Don’t go more than three or four hours without eating. Getting too hungry can cause you to make poor eating decisions and make you more likely to give into those bad cravings you want to avoid.
Give in (a little bit)
It’s not realistic to expect that your diet will be 100 percent healthy every day. It’s OK to treat yourself once in a while, but be smart about giving into cravings. Include just one or two unhealthy items you absolutely love in your diet and allow yourself only those — and have them occasionally, not all the time.
Cravings can sabotage your journey to a healthier you. By using the smart strategies above, you can ensure that your cravings won’t derail your weight loss journey.